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Mushroom Pate

Makes enough to fill a 3-cup mold or dish.

 

The simplicity of this recipe belies its great taste.  Traditionally served in a small glass jar with a bail lid.   Serve with crisp little croutes, toasts, or crackers of your choice and, as the French do, with some little cornichons and grainy mustard on the side.  Mushrooms are a great match with Pinot Noir.  Serve a glass of the Russian River Valley Pinot Noir with this for your spring gathering.

 

1-ounce dried wild mushrooms such as porcini

5 tablespoons butter

1/2 cup chopped shallots or green onions (white part only)

1-1/4 pounds thickly sliced fresh wild or exotic cultivated mushrooms*

2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic

2 teaspoons curry powder or to your taste

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 cup toasted, preferably unsalted cashews

2 tablespoons toasted nut oil such as walnut or olive oil

2 tablespoons finely chopped mixed herbs such as parsley, chives and/or basil

2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest

Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

 

  1. Rinse the dried mushrooms quickly and let soak in warm water to cover for 15 minutes.  Drain, squeeze dry and chop.
  2. Heat the butter in a large sauté pan over moderately high heat.  Add the shallots, all mushrooms, garlic, curry and cumin and sauté and stir until mixture is just beginning to brown and all liquid has evaporated.
  3. While mushrooms are cooking add the cashews to a food processor and process till finely chopped.  Add oil and continue to process to make a paste or butter.  Add the mushroom mixture and process till almost smooth.  Stir in the herbs and zest and season with salt and pepper to your taste and place in a 3-cup pate mold or other ceramic dish.  Can be stored covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days.  Allow to return to room temperature to serve.

 

Photo by John Burgess, Santa Rosa Press Democrat

Recipe by John Ash: chefjohnash.com

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